The need for efficiency has made businesses adopt Information Technology (IT). IT makes work easier and increases productivity, which is a desire by most entrepreneurs. In most cases, independently handling IT in a company can be overwhelming. For example, you must ensure compliance, security, backup, system updates, etc. It is without forgetting you have other key operations to handle. Due to the lack of business focus that IT operations bring; business owners seek IT services for their businesses. Here, a third party will handle their IT operations.
As a business owner who’s also decided to outsource your IT operations, how’ll choose the right IT service for your business? Read on to find out how to go about this. It’d help to:
Identify Your IT needs
There are many services under IT you can receive from a provider. Hence, you need to identify your needs. Decide what you need the IT provider to cater to. Will they handle everything IT or just a fraction of your IT needs? You’ll only need some of their services if you have an in-house IT team that handles some aspects.
Do you want the team to handle your business's compliance or security aspects? Be sure to list the compulsory services you need and those you require but aren't compulsory. The services under the compulsory list are those you can’t compromise on; the reverse is true for the non-compliance ones.
Your list of needs will help you vet the available providers. Be sure to choose managed IT services in Seattle from Attentus or any other provider that meets all your needs without compromise.
Factor In Capability
Capability is essential when choosing IT services. Surely, you want the provider to have the necessary resources to meet your needs.
One of the factors you need to inquire about is the team size. The provider’s team size will help you know if they can handle your workload and meet your deadlines. There should be no slacking in service delivery; you want value for your money. Team size is also crucial since there’s a high probability that the Boston IT consulting provider will have several other clients. And if you want to balance the number of clients and workers, you have to settle for a provider with many workers. With many workers, the work is shared evenly, and the provider will meet your needs on time. You also won’t have to worry about quality compromise, possibly due to fatigue from the heavy workload.
The other resource that determines capability is technology. Does the provider have the right and latest tools to meet your IT needs? If you aren’t tech-savvy, make the internet your friend. Google the latest tools in IT and ask the provider if they use them. Should they not ask why? If they utilize other tools, research them and ensure they’re up to standards. Alternatively, your IT team should assist you in assessing the technology. They have the know-how and are aware of the aspects and features to look for. Thus, settle for a provider using the latest and right innovations to meet your IT needs.
Factor In Customer Support
Customer support is of the essence. You might encounter an issue and require you to contact the IT services provider. Will the provider be available ASAP, or do you have to wait several hours? There are two ways to weigh the customer support of a provider.
One, do your due diligence. It involves taking note of your interaction with the provider from the onset. Was the provider receptive when you first reached out for their services? Did they say they’ll get back to you and do so after one week? Were they friendly, or was the receptionist rude? These are some tell-tale signs of the type of working relationship you’ll have with the provider. Be sure to settle for a provider receptive to you from the word go before you get into a contract with them.
The other way of checking the customer support you’ll get is by asking the provider themself. Will they offer 24/7 support, or are there days you can’t reach them, such as holidays? What is their communication channel? Can you call the manager, or can you only get to them through the junior team members? It’s necessary to settle for an IT service provider that’ll offer 24/7 support. IT issues can occur at any time of the day, and you want to get assistance as soon as possible. Also, it’d help if you could contact the director or manager of the company directly. It shows that the provider values you as a customer and has gone the extra mile to ensure you can talk to the management when needed. It's because some issues are better to settle with the top team than with the juniors.
It’s also advisable to work with a provider within your time zone. Different time zones can bring disparity in communication and service provision.
Inquire About Service Delivery
In most cases, how you handle your operations determines the success of your undertakings. No matter the quality of tools you have, a wrong approach won’t result in needs satisfaction. Therefore, it’s important to inquire how the provider will approach your IT needs. Will they adopt a reactive or a proactive approach?
A reactive approach is where the provider will meet your needs if a risk happens. It doesn’t have a preventive mechanism. It isn’t an ideal way of handling your operations. As the adage goes, prevention is better than cure. However, a proactive approach is quite the opposite. The provider will put measures in place to prevent the occurrence of risks associated with your IT operations. They’ll actively monitor your systems whether or not there’s a risk. It is how ideal IT services should be and what you should seek from the provider.
Experience is essential for service provision. It requires adequate practice to offer quality services, which you can only get with years of experience. Therefore, ask the provider about their business and technical experience.
Business experience refers to the years the provider has been into. A provider who’s been in service for a long time is likely to have worked with several other clients, adding to their experience. They’ve also mastered this delivery service and will meet your needs from the point of know-how rather than trial and error. You’re more or less assured of quality services. Settle for a provider who’s been in business for many years, preferably five years or more.
On the other hand, technical experience refers to the qualifications of the provider’s team in IT. Have they all undergone training? Do they have the necessary licenses and other documentation to prove this? Does the provider offer continuous training to enhance their skills? Be sure to confirm that the documents are valid and not expired. Why is technical experience crucial? In most cases, an IT services provider has several team members. Some are newbies, while others have experience. Some providers will take clients and allocate them to their team. It’d be bad if a company’s needs were allocated to an intern without experience; you won’t be assured of quality. However, if everyone is adequately qualified, you won’t have to worry about who gets assigned to your company. You’ll still receive quality services.
The right IT service provider is ideal for your business. It’s the only way you’re assured of efficient IT operations. The discussion above has highlighted how to ensure you settle for the ideal IT service provider. Consider implementing the tips herein, and you’ll have an easy time with the process. Your business will also thank you for it.
Author: Gregory D. Swann
Gregory D. Swann is an IT master’s graduate and runs a technology company. He is passionate about everything about IT and shares his knowledge in the field through seminars he holds twice a year. And during his free time, Gregory loves playing soccer and reading good books.